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SHANTELL MARTIN


TAKES OVER ORIGIN COLUMNIST | Miri Wilkins


From the moment I met Shantell, I felt I was in the presence of someone wise beyond her years. She exudes a certain calm, warm, graceful intelligence that immediately puts one at ease. Her very humble and unaffected demeanor notwithstanding, she is definitely a talent to be reckoned with. This young NYC-based artist has been a trailblazer in the performance and interactive-illustration world. Martin is regularly asked to speak at international conferences and made it into DJ Magazine’s Top 10 VJs worldwide. She was cast as herself on Gossip Girl, and was named “The Coolest It Girl in New York” by French Glamour.


Photo: Catalin Kulczar-Marin


Shantell began drawing from a very early age. “I felt out of place. I grew up in a racist area of London, and though I now see my being different as an advantage, it was difficult then. I created different characters as an escape, as a way of taking control of things that I had no control over, by creating my own world.” Her great love of art and enormous talent gained


T 36 | OriginMagazine.com


he oldest of six children, born to a mixed-race family and raised in a working-class London neighborhood,


her a coveted spot at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She graduated with Honors in Graphic Design/Illustration. After graduation, Shantell moved to Japan and taught English before establishing a highly successful career as an interactive- illustration artist in Tokyo. “As a live performer one cannot afford to think; one just draws from the gut. In this, I also found that escape I had as a child. I loved the interaction of people


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